“Junk” Jewelry from my Travels

I’m not quite sure how this collection began. I’m not quite sure why it began. I’m not quite sure when and where it began. But somehow during my travels, I started to collect what I call “junk” jewelry. Actually, maybe it began because I wanted some small souvenirs from my travels that would fit in my backpack, without taking up a lot of space or weighing much. And, well, this stuff didn’t even need to fit in my backpack; instead I just wore it on a finger, a wrist, or around my neck.


Since I started this collection, I haven’t stopped, and now I try to buy some memory that I can wear from everywhere I travel. Sometimes it has been one piece of jewelry representing an entire country. Other times, I have collected something in each city that I was visiting during a particular trip. I must say that it actually has become quite fun to shop around for my perfect piece of “junk” jewelry.

When I look at my collection now, sometimes I wonder just what I was thinking when I bought something, as there were times when I must have picked the gaudiest item around. Like the big dark pink bracelet I bought in Venice, Italy – although, it does have its own appeal. Or the gold-wire-looped ring I bought in some other European city. On the other hand (no pun intended), I have also purchased other pieces that are actually really quite nice.


The most exquisite piece I bought was in Paris. Prior to my trip, my sister had shopped at a store, called Metal Pointus, that sells unique jewelry made out of metal. I purchased a bracelet that is truly a conversation piece. Ironically, my sister had purchased the matching ring years earlier, and when I returned home, she gave me her ring, so now I have a complete set! (Thanks, sis.)


I try to buy my jewelry mostly at local outdoor markets, flea markets, festivals or fairs, in order to get something locally made, individually made, and handcrafted by a local artist. One of my favorite pieces was purchased in Copenhagen at an outdoor Art Market. This bracelet was hand-made using stones and reed from the Amazon, and I love it! Truly a sample of art.


Here are some other “junk” jewelry stories: When I was living in Australia, I actually made my own matching pink bracelet and necklace set. I bought pieces made out of amber in the Baltic Sea. (Please read a previous blog about this.) I purchased a ring made out of wood, specifically Siberian Birch, which I bought at a local festival in my own neighborhood. The purple-beaded, bent-metal bracelet came from an outdoor market in Brussels, which is another piece that I consider a sample of art. Finally, the necklace with the red stones was given to me by a special stranger, while I was in Cappadocia, Turkey. (Again, please read a previous blog about this.)


All in all, whether I purchased some jewelry that was truly “junk,” whether it is something really nice to wear, whether I consider the piece to be a sample of art, or whether the piece is for sentimental value, I must say that collecting “junk” jewelry while I travel is a fun way to not only shop, but also a great way to experience the local flavor of a city, a country, a store or market, and a local artist.


Collecting “junk” jewelry is a great way to have a small souvenir that doesn’t even need to fit into a backpack, and brings back many memories each time I wear something.

Sweet Travels!

Solo Travel in Europe: Spontaneity at its Finest
Iceland with my Sister: Priceless (Part Three)

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